Wow what a lovely day it has been, a proper cold frosty wintry one. Lovely. It's days like these that I really enjoy being a dog owner...
|Honey playing in a puddle of ice|
|Really gorgeous scenes at Lower Bruckland Ponds this morning|
As the title suggests this post is mostly about Water Pipits. This species used to be a regular winter visitor to the Axe, in particular Colyford Marsh where up to double figures could be seen feeding in the long grass beyond the main scrape. During the winter of '03/'04 numbers peaked with up to 18 on a field next to Colyford WTW - this was quite a sight.
Since then though numbers have declined drastically and over the past four or five years we haven't had any over winter with us at all, the peak month now is April when spring birds pass through. It's really odd why they have become so rare as the habitat they use is still the same, in fact more of it has been created - a true mystery. On Saturday though Phil had at least five on Bridge Marsh, so on Monday I gave this area plenty of time as I was keen to seen some. After twenty minutes of looking Water Pipits began to make themselves known and I saw at least seven (all perched on a fence at the same time) although I think there were probably more like nine present. It's so great to have them back, let's hope they begin to winter with us once again.